- Our prayers are offered to God in ‘real time’ to us. But timeless God heard our prayers and considered them before the beginning of the world . . . before He wrote the script of what’s happening right now. So our prayers are valuable and useful, no matter when they’re uttered.
- Stephen Hawking’s quantum physics formulas give rational explanation to the beginnings of the universe. His conclusion . . . ‘the universe created itself.’ ‘God is not required to explain it.’ His life’s work has brought us back to the fundamental question which Paul set up in Romans 1:20 . . .
“ For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
We see this undeniably beautiful, complex, synchronized world and universe . . . that part is undeniable. We must now decide if we believe the universe created itself or if there is a God who created it. God may have miraculously extended Hawking’s life to crystalize this first, crucial and ultimate question. His life’s work may offer a theory of “how” but it is empty of answers for “who” or “why.”
- God will always do His part but he will never do our part. My prayer is for the wisdom to know what my part is, for the courage to do it and for the faith to see what He does through the lens of His love for me.
- ‘Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone’ is tough for Americans to accept. We want to fix everything for everyone. It’s hard to accept that ‘the poor will always be with you.’ But the alternative is do nothing or write checks and be a part of a more impersonal, group, corporate effort.
- I must catch myself doing ‘image management,’ stop it and immediately be real. If I only show my ‘mask,’ people can only love the mask and never know or love me. I will never feel love without exposing the ‘real me’ to those who can love me.
- Being ‘fully present’ is the only thing that slows life down and creates more minutes per clock hour.
- While “a hand up is better than a hand out” prevails in the long run, charity . . . helping meet an immediate human need for food, water, clothing, shelter and medical care is also our burden and our opportunity.
- Conversation is the most effective means of influencing others. True conversation begins with mutual love and respect. Conversation gives God time to surface felt needs and connect them with the answers that flow naturally and organically between two people who care about each other. We need to have fewer lectures and more conversations.
- We live individually and we die individually. “Two becoming one” speaks of an intimate connection at the heart level, but your brain is your brain. Your identity is your identity. Knowing who you are in Christ . . . living and leading from that identity gives strength and confidence to your wife and family. It is in my best interest to live with nothing to hide, and the woman I’m married to must know that the Boss isn’t her and it isn’t me.
- In order to ‘take up my cross,’ I have to ‘put down my Isaac.’ After Abraham put Isaac down on the altar, God gave him a ram to sacrifice in Isaac’s place. When we hold onto our anger, money, fear, or plan, God can’t put anything else in our arms. Only by letting it go . . . by ‘laying it down’ on the altar can He replace it with something better, with what He wants us to have. What’s my ‘Isaac’? What’s yours?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, as we enter into a new year, give us a new awareness of Your pervasive love. Throughout 2015, please give us the faith to slow down and be fully present with You and with those dear ones You’ve put in our lives. And help us to not just be ‘hearers’ but to be ‘doers’ of Your Word in all our relationships this year. In your beautiful name . . . Amen.